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Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Supreme Court must strike down entire health law

Friday, January 13, 2012

President Obama's unpopular health care law is back in the news again, but not for the reasons its supporters would like. In the coming weeks, the Supreme Court will take a hard look at the law to decide whether it passes constitutional muster. The question at the heart of the legal challenge brought by 26 states, including Nebraska, as well as the National Federation of Independent Business is whether the federal government has the constitutional authority to force every American to buy and maintain health insurance -- the so-called individual mandate.

There are many problems with this law. ObamaCare's tax hikes are a drag on job creation and the employer mandate is certainly a burden on businesses. When honestly accounted, the law is also an unaffordable budget-buster. But the worst offense is the individual mandate's unprecedented intrusion on our individual liberty. These are some of the many reasons I voted against this misguided law and in favor of its full repeal. The profound implications of the mandate find their way into many of my conversations with constituents in the Third District. Your concerns are well founded.

Legal scholars warn if the individual mandate were to stand there virtually would be no limit to what activity the federal government could control. There is no telling whether this new authority would stop at just health care or whether it would be the first in a series of other such government mandates. Make no mistake: if permitted, future governments will exploit this power.

The question of the individual mandate also has a second part: if it is ruled unconstitutional, could the remaining provisions of the law still stand? In theory this should be easy for the Court to answer. ObamaCare's proponents celebrated the individual mandate as the very basis of its viability. So even by their standards, this misguided law cannot endure without it.

Congress demonstrated it did not intend for the individual mandate to be severable when it deliberately rejected legislative language which would make it so. The Administration also has conceded the individual mandate is not severable from the rest of the law. Writing in court documents, Justice Department attorneys state the law's remaining portions would not be able to function "in a manner consistent with the intent of Congress" if the mandate were to be struck down on its own.

To let the remaining provisions of the law stand would be shortsighted and result in additional unintended consequences. To that end, I recently signed a legal brief with 117 of my House colleagues urging the Supreme Court to rule against the mandate's severability and render the entire law invalid. You can view the entire brief at my website http://adriansmith.house.gov.

Nebraskans deserve the freedom to make their own health care decisions without the federal government interfering. Our Constitution provides for a federal government of significant, but defined and limited powers. By ignoring the constitutional limits on federal power, President Obama's health care law tramples on the rights of all Nebraskans. We need to defend the checks and balances our Constitution creates through its divisions of power and protect the people of Nebraska and every other state from this massive federal overreach. The Supreme Court has a unique opportunity to halt the advance of big government and it should take it by striking ObamaCare down in its entirety.

For more information about this issue, the latest developments in Congress, or to sign up for Congressman Smith's e-mail newsletter, please visit http://adriansmith.house.gov


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IMO Congress must take on, and defeat the subjugation of the whole population, the Health Bill only the beginning. If our elected officials cannot regain the Constitutional system of government, I fear that many will suffer. If what is seeming to be transpiring, continues to progress, Congress will also be on the chopping block, by the Dictatorship that is attempting to raise its ugly head. Just a thought.

Good luck Adrian. IMO, there is more afoot, than meets the eye (like riding on the tail of the proverbial Alligator, that person is the last eaten, but never the less, eaten).

-- Posted by Navyblue on Fri, Jan 13, 2012, at 10:04 PM

Most excellent and accurate article!

THE USA is NOT COMMUNIST RUSSIA or China!!!!

NO AMERICAN should be forced to spend money on ANYTHING!!! Policians are just using this law to line their own pockets!!!

THIS LAW WILL NOT IMPROVE HEALTH CARE!!!!!

Legislators need to re-define the way corruption and graft is being perpetuated in the ABA, AMA, pharmaceutical companies and other "big money" that attempts to control American freedoms and CONSTITUTIONAL RIGHTS.

They also need to address the TOTAL FAILURE to implement laws of the "protected" status, and ADDRESS CRIMINAL LENIENCY, especially crimes against the innocent where one perpetrator is "protected" while victims suffer!

For victims and LAW ABIDING CITIZENS having to endure CRIMINAL RIGHTS, this is SO WRONG! Criminal "rights" should stop at conviction. Evidence protections and facilitations need to be implemented for VICTIMS of crimes, as well as protecting LAW ABIDING CITIZENS who are etaliated agaisnt for REPORTING CRIMES!

-- Posted by sophia on Sat, Jan 14, 2012, at 8:22 AM

The "health care" bill has little to do with care and a lot to do with who pays.

-- Posted by dennis on Sat, Jan 14, 2012, at 8:56 AM

The bill is interesting in that there are lots of good things as well as lots of bad things. In my opinion this bill was rushed and pushed through and that is where it failed. If it had been given two or three years of thoughts and ideas I think it could have been a huge benefit to the system. As it stands it is poorly written with major problems.

If it was up to me I would look at repealing it for now and working on it.

Forcing people to have insurance is wrong, but I can also see the benefit to the system if everyone had insurance. The main problem is it is simply to expensive for most to afford and far to expensive for the govt to afford.

I know where I work, and I am sure this is the case in most places, the company pays a percentage and the employee is responsible for the rest. But in 8 years the employee's amount has increased by almost 400% (still paying the same percentage). This is the problem with the healthcare/health insurance system. You can't increase rates by that much on a year average when wages can't even come close to following it.

I have a feeling in the end it will be a problem that never gets solved or atleast doesn't get solved in my lifetime. How can it when hospitals charge 3000-6000 dollars for an overnight stay. Don't get me wrong I think most doctors earn their money, but when you look at the breakdown of a bill it is rediculas. 30-70 bucks to give a shot plus the cost of the shot itself.

I can't fault Obama for trying. I will however fault him and congress(at the time) for rushing and not putting forth a bill that would help not hender the majority.

-- Posted by carlsonl on Sat, Jan 14, 2012, at 12:12 PM

Jeepers Sophia maybe if you'd have used more CAPS your point would have been more clear.Otherwise you might have provided some examples of the dysfunctions you felt the need to CAPITALIZE. Given that the individual mandate was a Republican idea to start with and working with a congress whose stated goal was to do whatever it took to cause the sitting President to be a one term President I'm surprised they got anything done at all. I don't much care for the result of all the dust-raising but at least we've now got a national debate on what ought and could be done. Regardless of what Representative Smith feels about the current bill the debate is here to stay and I don't see Smith contributing much to it other than the conservative's usual thoughtless opposition.

-- Posted by davis_x_machina on Mon, Jan 16, 2012, at 9:20 AM

Representative Smith,

Again I find it necessary to remind you that your demeanor involving the representation of all your constituents should be nonbiased in nature. Your continued disrespect for other points of view only tends to diminish the value of the arguments you bring forward and sheds light on your inability to act on behalf of all those you represent. May I remind you that the Affordable Care Act is the law of the land and until it is has been determined to be unconstitutional it carries all the weight and respect that any other law affords.

Your dire dooms day predictions of the negative outcome of the implementation of the Affordable Care Act has been overridden by the reality of the benefits that millions of our countries citizens are now realizing due to its implementation. We can see with our own eyes how it is benefiting our country, regardless of your continual attempts to paint a different scenario.

It is your role as a representative of the people of Nebraska to uphold the laws of our country until they have been proven unconstitutional, stop your gerrymandering. Your job is not to be a lobbyist for special interest groups; it is to represent all of the people of the Great State of Nebraska.

Do your job!

-- Posted by Geezer on Mon, Jan 16, 2012, at 10:00 AM

Geezer - the government was never designed to take over and control enterprises that belong in the private sector.

Mandating health care provisions upon private citizens is beyond the scope of government authority. No matter how much "good" may come out of it; it is un-constitutional.

I for one appreciate Mr. Smiths values, principles, work ethic, and voice in Congress.

He IS doing his job.

-- Posted by Mickel on Sat, Feb 11, 2012, at 2:16 PM


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U.S. Rep. Adrian Smith
Washington Report